A Countess of Chester Hospital midwife has been named the best in the North West for going ‘above and beyond’ her duty.
Expectant mum Laura Tatler from Upton had a more difficult pregnancy than most after suffering from the rare genetic condition Elhers Danlos Syndrome (EDS) which causes poor wound healing and affects joint hypermobility.
And as she also has Postural Tachycardia Syndrome (PoTS), which is an abnormal increase in heart rate that occurs after sitting up or standing and causes dizziness and fainting, Laura naturally had many questions and concerns throughout her pregnancy.
But luckily for her, midwife Marie O’Brien was on hand to answer questons and support her every step of the way, both during the pregnancy and after the birth of Laura’s baby son Reuben.
In fact she treated her so well that Laura felt compelled to nominate Marie, of Huntington, for the Emma’s Diary Mum’s Midwife of the Year 2018 in the North West region, a prestigious accolade that recognises the incredible work done by exceptional midwives across the country.
She and six other regional winners were chosen from 751 nominations from mums across the UK, after a meticulous judging process by the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) and Emma’s Diary.
Laura said: “I had an operation early in my pregnancy to remove a lesion that was not healing. I had so many worries about the harm the anaesthetic could cause my unborn baby, and whether I would be able to have a normal pregnancy and birth but Marie always kept me calm, and went above and beyond to find the answers to my unusual medical condition.
“As my pregnancy progressed, I had intense hip pain and had to wear a special girdle and use crutches. Despite being consultant led, it was Marie who gave me the strength I needed by being there for me, on the phone, or at the hospital.
“At 36 weeks, I started having fainting episodes where I was rushed to hospital, but again, Marie was there making sure I was okay,” added Laura. “I eventually gave birth at 41 weeks and amazingly had a natural birth, despite my baby being back to back. However, as a result of the delivery, I had to have a number of stitches.
“After a couple of weeks, these had not healed and unfortunately became infected. Again, it was Marie who organised for me to go to hospital to be checked and treated. Marie not only managed to make my pregnancy and first month with my first born an amazing experience, she was also at the same time caring for my sister and her new baby also. I so hope she can be there for my second child!”
Marie will join the six other regional winners for the RCM Annual Awards in London on March 6 where she will receive her trophy and find out who will be crowned the national winner.
She said: “To receive such an award for doing my job is incredible, it is truly the highlight of my career and I feel immensely proud. I did keep a closer eye on Laura as she has a rare medical condition that I did not want to impact on her experience any more than it needed to.
“As a midwife, it is my duty to be the mother's advocate and to challenge any decisions that may not be in her best interest. I am in awe of Laura to be able to find the time to nominate me with a new baby, this is staggering, and I cannot thank her enough.”